I have mentioned in my previous post that I have migrated my hosting from Media Temple to SiteGround hosting. Next comes to the site’s domain name.
You have 3 options when it comes to your domain name transfer when you are also switching hosts:
This is applicable for cases where you have bought your domain name with the same host (it is usually the way for non techy persons who do not know how to do it separately).
1. Keep the domain name with the old host
In my case, my original domain name was purchased with Media Temple when I bought their hosting plan. If you wish to maintain the domain name with your old host (usually I do not think it would be the case but I will still list the option here), then all you need to do is to change the DNS setting of your domain name to point to your new host at SiteGround.
Those days, I had no idea how to do it separately. But I have just learned how to do it. Here are the other 2 methods:
2. Transfer over the new domain name to your new host
I transferred out my hosting from Media Temple to SiteGround. Before migrating to Siteground, you first need to change the DNS setting (by logging in to Media Temple) for the hosting to point to SiteGround. Once you verified that it is all okay, you can initiate the domain name transfer to your new host.
When it comes to transferring out the domain name, you have the option to do it yourself or pay for Siteground to do it for you. DIY method is free and SiteGround have tutorials to guide you on how to do it.
If you pay Siteground to do it, they charge USD15.95 but give you one year renewal free. So nett nett you almost did not pay extra (assuming if you have stuck with your old host and the domain renewal cost USD15).
3. Park your domain at a separate domain provider such as GoDaddy or NameCheap
Alternatively, you can choose to park your domain name separately with domain name providers such as NameCheap and GoDaddy. I have chosen NameCheap because most people recommend them- their interface is simple and there is no excessive upselling.
I have learnt it is more advisable to host your domain name separately because you would tend to get better deals with companies such as NameCheap. Also, it makes it easier in future if you wish to move from one hosting company to another. If you consolidate all your domain name with one company, all you need to do when you move hosting company is to login to NameCheap to update the DNS server to point to your new host.
To park your domain with NameCheap, you need to do the following:
a. Ensure the DNS setting at your current host is up to date.
The DNS setting is the hosting where the content of your website points to. In my case, I originally hosted with Media Temple. After I got one of my sites migrated to SiteGround, I switched the DNS settings to point to SiteGround’s nameservers. You can check your name servers by logging in to Siteground’s Cpanel function.
I verified that my DNS is correct and my site is running correctly before I proceed to transfer out the domain name.
b. Set up a free NameCheap account if you do not have one
Just set up a free NameCheap account for them to manage your domains there. When you want to transfer your domain name to NameCheap, you would need to have 2 things:
i. The domain needs to be unlocked
ii. Valid email address to receive the EPP or authorization code
iii. Access to your current domain provider so that you can login to get your access code
When you go to the Transfer page in NameCheap, https://www.namecheap.com/domains/transfer/, by first keying in the domain you would know if it is locked or not. If it is unlocked, you need to unlock the domain name first.
Media Temple has the option to generate the Authorization code where they would send to you via email. You can opt to change the email address at the Authorization code area itself.
After keying in the EPP or Authorization code, you can proceed with the transfer process. NameCheap will charge the new domain pricing (eg USD8 or whatever their promo rate) that will take effect upon the next renewal. For example, I have one domain that is due for renewal in November 2018. I did the domain transfer in September 2018. Hence, the USD8+ that NameCheap charge me would effectively renew my domain till November 2019, which is add on on top of your existing renewal rate. They are not going to renew till Sept 2019 just because you did the transfer in September.
Next, they would start the domain name transfer process which may take anytime from few hours to 14 days depending on how long it takes for the previous provider to release the name.
Important reminder again: During the transfer period, you cannot make any amendments to your DNS settings (ie the site hosting where the domain name points to) so please ensure the settings are in order before you initiate the domain name transfer to Namecheap or to any provider. In my case because i am also switching hosting from Media Temple to SiteGround, after my site migration, I logged into my Media Temple account and updated the DNS settings to point the hosting to Siteground servers. Then after verified the DNS is updated to the new hosting, I made changes in my existing site such as adding new articles and changing to https. After seeing no error pages, then only I initiated the migration of the domain name out of Media Temple to NameCheap.